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Are You Ready to Go?

Tagged With: / Return Of The Real King - Jesus

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  • GLOBAL GRAVEYARD: One out of every four people will die (see Rev. 6:8), some through the ravages of war, others by starvation, and amazingly many others by the ‘beasts of the earth’.  So, whether by death that come instantly and thus less dreaded or a slow and painful death that is lingering and agonizing-25 percent of all people will die.  As of 7:21 PM GMT (1:21 PM CST) the world’s population was 5,983,632,173 and growing at 7 million per month, so that means at least 1,496,000,000 will die. That amounts to just about five times the current population of the United States-can you imagine that? And remember that the population of the world is doubling every 39.5 years. So every day the number of people who will die becomes larger and larger.
  • GLOBAL GRASSFIRE: One third of all vegetation will be burned up. All grass, every tree, everything green will be destroyed (see Rev. 8:7).
  • GLOBAL  NUCLEAR WINTER: The sun and the moon will be darkened as nature goes into revolt (see Rev. 8:12).
  • GLOBAL HORROR SHOW: The gates of hell will open and hordes of locusts, the size of horses, will come upon the earth. Those locusts will  be allowed to sting men like scorpions and the pain will last for five months. The Bible says men will beg God to let them die but they will not die (see Rev. 9:3-6).
  • GLOBAL STARVATION: There will be worldwide famine unlike anything the world has ever seen (see Rev. 18:8).
  • GLOBAL WARFARE:  There will be a world war so bloody that the blood of those killed in battle will flow for two hundred miles up to the bridle of a horse in the valley of Jezreel.  This will be the Battle of Armageddon (see Rev. 14:20).
  • GLOBAL NIGHTMARE: All told, during the Great Tribulation, as many as half of all the people on the earth will be killed. Now do you see why God refers to the Rapture as a ‘blessed hope”? Because the Tribulation to come is so horrible!

It has been 52 years since a storm of such deadly intensity has struck Oklahoma. On  April 9, 1947, a twister killed 113 people. But Monday’s tornadoes awesome even for a region used to twisters. Tornado Alley, a swath running from west Texas through Oklahoma and Kansas to Iowa, is ripe for stormy conditions because of colliding air masses that occur each spring. The deadly tornado was first reported about 5:50 p.m. near Chickasha, about 45 miles southwest of the capital city. At first it just skipped across the flat Oklahoma countryside, uprooting trees, downing power lines, flattening outbuildings and ruining cars. That is, until it tore into southern Oklahoma City.

Then the tornado became a dark funnel that sucked up virtually everything in its path as it achieved an F-5 status by winds exceeding 260 mph.  Monday’s storm was the product of super cells, the kings of thunderstorms, which soar 60,000 feet into the atmosphere — nearly twice as high as the zone where jet aircraft fly. Unlike normal  thunderstorms which dissipate in an hour or so, this anvil-shaped super cell persisted for hours and traveled hundreds of miles, hurling the most destructive weather in its path.

So this past Monday we experienced just a sprinkle of the flood which lies ahead. What do I mean? The killer tornadoes are mild in their deadly destruction to what we see on God’s prophetic roadmap! The question for us is, if we were hit with this or any other foretaste of the Tribulation, what can we be doing now to be sure that we will not loose everything like those we witnessed this week.

On Monday May 3rd 1999 a swirling mass of twisting, tortured supercharged air began to descend from the sky over quiet pastures blanketed in the lush green carpet of spring. Within moments an ugly brown scar was left in the wake of this monstrous tornado.

Life for hundreds and thousands of families would change forever in the next hour. The tower of destruction began its systematic rape of the land as grass, trees, fences and farm buildings.

Ahead of the storm inexorably marching like a tidal wave of death lay quiet rows of beautiful homes. Inside were grandmothers and infants, photo albums and hamster cages, brand new pickups and pop up campers. Behind the storm lay shattered homes, shattered families, shattered lives, shattered bodies. What could be worse than that? To answer that question join me in Kansas at a military outpost called Camp Funston. It is March 4th, 1918 and the flu pandemic[1] of 1918 begins. Tens of millions of deaths later, it was and remains a mystery.

It began with a relatively mild initial assault on March 4, when the first reported case occurred at Camp Funston, Kans. Within four months, the virus had traversed the globe. The flu sickened millions but killed relatively few, and in the tumult of World War I, the first wave seemed pretty mundane.

No one knew it at the time, of course, but flu viruses are notoriously unstable– “genetically labile,” as one researcher puts it. Set one flu virus beside another, and the two may trade genes, a process called re-assortment. If this re-assortment produces a virus that closely resembles one of its parents, it is said to have undergone antigenic drift. On rare occasions, this scrambling can be dramatic. The virus becomes a kind of Frankenstein virus so different from existing strains that the human population has no immunity to it.

In August 1918, the mild virus apparently re-assorted into something positively deadly. Outbreaks caused by the new variant exploded almost simultaneously in three far-flung locations: France, Sierra Leone and Boston. The flu struck with a ferocity that shocked doctors, who feared this strange new pathogen might be an airborne version of the Black Death. Patients died awash in blood and gore, literally drowning as fluid filled their lungs.

The virus rocketed to the farthest points of the globe. From September 1918 through March 1919, it killed 33,387 people in New York City, just over 1% of the city’s population. In some Alaskan villages, the death toll topped 50%; in one, Teller Mission (n ow Brevig Mission), 85% were dead within a week.

One of the great mysteries of 1918 centers on who was killed by the virus. Even ordinary flu will cause deaths among the very young, the very old and people with a weakened immune system. The 1918 virus did kill within these groups, but it seemed to have a special passion for the young and hardy, ages 25 to 34, those typically most able to weather the flu.

Rumors flew of strange influenza-like diseases affecting animals, even moose, according to the pandemic’s chronicler, Alfred W. Crosby Jr. One rumor turned out to be true–disturbingly so for anyone familiar with the subsequent history of influenza research and the recent Hong Kong outbreak. Farmers in 1918 discovered that something was making their pigs very sick, with high fevers and bad coughs. No such pig flu had ever been noticed before 1918, but every fall thereafter an influenza-like illness attack ed the nation’s hog population. In 1928 a researcher from the Rockefeller Institute, Richard E. Shope, went to Iowa to investigate the phenomenon, and in 1930 he became the first scientist to isolate an influenza virus. Copies of it are stored today in laboratories around the world.

But somewhere beyond the starry sky there stands a herald angel with a trumpet in his hand, and by the decree of the Lord God Almighty, there is a day, there is an hour, there is a moment, there is an elected time when the angel shall sound and the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ.” [2]

The Beginning of the Tribulation (Matt. 24:4-14)

The events described in this section are “the beginning of birth-pangs” (Matt. 24:8). The image of a woman in travail is a picture of the Tribulation period (Isa. 13:6–11; 1 Thes. 5:5). Let’s consider some of the significant events that will occur at the beginning of this period.

  • GLOBAL FALSE TEACHING  (vv. 4–5). The Jews have often been led astray by false prophets and false christs. The rider on the white horse in Revelation 6:1–2 is the Antichrist, that final world dictator who will lead the nations astray. He will begin his career as a peacemaker, signing a covenant with Israel to protect her from her enemies (Dan. 9:27). Israel will welcome this man as their great benefactor (John 5:43).
  • GLOBAL WARFARE  (v. 6). Note that wars are not a sign of the end. There have always been wars in the world, and will be until the very end. Wars of themselves do not announce the end of the age or the coming of the Lord.
  • GLOBAL FAMINES (v. 7a). War and famine usually go together. Revelation 6:6 suggests terribly high prices for staple foods, for a “penny” was a day’s wages.
  • GLOBAL EPIDEMICS (vv. 7b-8). Earthquakes help to create famines, and both help to cause epidemics that take many lives.
  • GLOBAL PERSECUTIONS (v. 9). Christians have always been hated by the world, but here we have an acceleration of persecutions and murders. All nations will be involved. This certainly was not true in the history of the early church.
  • GLOBAL CHAOS (vv. 10–13). Those who once were true to each other will betray each other. This suggests that marriages, homes, and nations will be torn asunder because of lack of loyalty. Lawlessness will abound (Matt. 24:12), for even the law enforcement agencies will not be able to keep the peace. (Matthew 24:13 has nothing to do with personal salvation in this present age of grace. “The end” does not mean the end of this life; it refers to the end of the age
  • GLOBAL EVANGELISM (v. 14). Revelation 7:1–8 teaches that God will choose and seal 144,000 Jewish evangelists who will carry the kingdom message to the ends of the earth. This verse does not teach that the Gospel of God’s grace must be spread to every nation today before Jesus can return for His church. It is the Lord’s return at the end of the age that is in view here. Matt. 24:14). Those believers on earth during this terrible period, who endure in their faith, will be saved when the Lord comes at the end and delivers them.

Now As we look at Revelation 6 we are looking at the Tribulation, the first step in Christ’s taking back the earth, which is rightfully His. One by one Christ unrolls the seals. As each seal is broken, He takes further possession and control of His inheritance. Finally, “the seventh angel sounded; and there arose loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever’” (11:15). When He unrolls the seventh seal and the seventh trumpet blows, the earth is His.[3]

God Has a Week of Prophetic History Left for the Jews

THE EVENTS OF THE 70TH WEEK – Israel has seven years left to fulfill this prophecy, and it just so happens that the Tribulation is seven years.  Verse 27 gives us some of the details of this 70th week:  “And he (Antichrist) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (here’s the last week); and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate (CF.  Matt. 24:15), even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”  Beloved, the 70th week of Daniel is the Tribulation.  And the gap between the 69th and 70th is an undefined period of time.  Now, according to verse 27, at the beginning of the Tribulation the Antichrist is going to make a covenant with Israel, and give them back their temple and their worship.  But after three and one-half years, he will suddenly violate the covenant and violently persecute Israel.

JESUS’ DESCRIPTION of the Tribulation in  (Matt. 24:3-34) exactly parallels the seals of Rev. 6!

Seal #1 FALSE PEACE (vv. 1-2)

Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.”2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

  • What is the lesson? Without Jesus the WAY, TRUTH & LIFE (14:6) – He guides us, apart from Him is only endless lostness.
  • This is a picture of the release of Antichrist into the world scene; a white horse; its rider has a bow and crown, and he goes forth to conquer.

Seal #2 WAR (vv. 3-4)

When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.

  • What is the lesson? Without Jesus the DOOR OF SHEEP (10:7,9) – He admits us to life, apart from Him is only hopeless exclusion.
  • A red horse; a great sword given to the rider; peace taken from the earth (vs. 3-4) speaks of the unmasking of Antichrist who brings a false, superficial peace.  But at this point, peace is removed from the earth and the time of killing begins (cf. Ezk. 38:21)
  • One estimate counts 143 separate wars and more than 12 million dead since 1945.

WAR ITSELF HAS INTENSIFIED[4]: Moreover, the lethality of modern conventional weapons is virtually incomprehensible.  In World War II, the standard infantry rifle, the M-1, fired an eight-round clip.

  • Today’s M-16 fires a 30-round magazine of far more devastating projectiles.
  • The A-10 attack aircraft, a jet used to support ground troops, carries a heavier bomb payload than the largest World War II strategic bomber, the B-29.
  • An AC- 130 gunship, a transport aircraft configured for fire support, carries four 20mm Vulcan cannons with six barrels each, four multibarreled 7.62mm miniguns, a 40mm Bofors cannon and a  105mm automatic howitzer.  In other words, one plane delivers the firepower of a World War I infantry battalion.
  • Tanks and artillery shoot twice as far, several times more rapidly and much more accurately than in 1945.  Or, as Professor Richard A. Gabriel of St. Anselm’s College notes in his newly published book, “No More Heroes”:  “A Soviet motorized rifle division can deliver ten times the firepower at three times the rate of a similar World War II division.  The same is true of NATO divisions.”  His conclusion:  High-intensity conventional warfare, like nuclear war, may now be too terrible to fight.

Seal #3 FAMINE (vv. 5-6)

When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.”

  • What is the lesson? Without Jesus the BREAD OF LIFE (6:35) – He sustains us, apart from Him is only unsatisfied hunger.
  • A denarius was one day’s wage (or fifteen cents).  A slave would work a whole day and earn fifteen cents.  Here we see that one meal of wheat or three meals of barley will cost an entire day’s wages.  Now that’s famine!  All a man’s money will go to buy food.  A terrible famine is going to hit the earth.

STARVATION[5] – (By Anastasia Toufexis) Close to the Zocalo, Mexico City’s great central square, lies the barrio of Morelos, a vast warren of dusty, potholed streets and narrow entryways.  The passages lead to a gloomy world.  On each side of a roofless patio is a ten-room jumble.  Each room holds a family; each family averages five people.  The only bathrooms-two to serve 100 people-are located at the back of the patio.  The odor of grease and sewage permeates the air.  Flies buzz relentlessly.  The people who live here are considered lucky.

In the shantytowns on Mexico City’s outskirts, tens of thousands of people shelter in huts made of cardboard with aluminum roofs.  There is no running water and no sanitation.  The stench is overpowering:  garbage and human waste heap up in piles.  Rats roam freely, like stray domestic animals.

To the more privileged, those scenes look like a science-fiction vision of civilization’s breakdown, perhaps after a nuclear war.  In fact, Mexico City has been described as the anteroom to an ecological Hiroshima.  With 20 million residents-up from 9 million only 20 years ago-the Mexican capital is considered the most populous urban center on earth.  Mexico capital has been struck not by military weapons but by a population bomb.

Seal #4 DEATH   (vv.7-8)

When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.”8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.

With the breaking of this seal, one-fourth of the population of the world is going to die. As a green (greek chloros as in chlorine) horse:  death, and hades follows. Death receives the bodies and hides the souls of unbelievers. Death may refer to pestilence (Scott, Ironside, Gaebelein). beasties of leuwenhook microscope Think for a moment of the vast legions of deadly agents surrounding you this morning:

  • TB: once thought conquered has reemerged in highly resistant strains that have even known to piggyback with HIV to be contagious in an airborne infection.
  • Staph: causing a fifth of the hospital systems two million infections a year has just shown up as staphylococcus aureus which is resistant to vancomycin, the final gun in the antibiotic arsenal. At present 60 to 80,000 die of staph annually but if aureus comes out it is so deadly the numbers will skyrocket.
  • Ebola: with a mortality rate of 90% + in less than a week, Ebola is horrible. Connective tissues of the body liquefies and every orifice of the body  bleeds as the infected individual convulses and splashes deadly contaminated blood in every direction. There is no known cure, no treatment, in fact no awareness of how it is transmitted. Chilling to say the least if it started in a populated area.
  • biological warfare: anthrax is a cheaply produced poor man’s atom bomb. Once infected the area is persistently a problem for decades. If Berlin had been hit with anthrax in WWII it would still be uninhabitable today!
  • Yursinia pestis: or to us non-doctor types bubonic plague is (rod-shaped, non-motile, non-sporulating, gram-negative, aerobic bacterium) in other words it killed tens of millions of Europeans in the Middle Ages and it is being cultivated in terrorist counties laboratories this morning! Black Death as it was called in the 1400’s goes from rats to fleas to humans to hemorrhages, to suffocation and/or general toxemia.
  • Botulinum toxin: this is the most powerful poison known to man. Nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, repiratory paralysis and death . . . all from a cultured bacteria called clostridium botulinum anyone can grow in their home lab with $10,000 worth of equipment in a room 15 feet square. In 1986 Ma Anan Sheela confessed to growing and spreading trillions salmonella bacteria in four restaurant salad bars of Oregon as a biological terrorist. 750 people became seriously ill in that one town!

NY TIMES April 5, 1999 DEFECTOR TELLS OF SOVIET AND CHINESE GERM WEAPONS

By WILLIAM J. BROAD and JUDITH MILLER

The most senior defector from the Soviet germ-warfare program says in a new book that Soviet officials concluded that China had suffered a serious accident at one of its secret plants for developing biological weapons, causing two major epidemics.

The book also reports that Soviet researchers tried to turn HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, into a weapon and that even as the last Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev, pursued peace openings with the West, he ordered a vast expansion of the deadly effort to turn germs and viruses into weapons of mass destruction.

The defector, Kanatjan Alibekov, now known as Ken Alibek, says in the book that as deputy director of a top branch of the Soviet program, he knew of the disaster in China because he saw secret Soviet intelligence reports twice a month.

Spy satellites peering down at China found what seemed to be a large biological-weapons laboratory and plant near a remote site for testing nuclear warheads, he wrote. Intelligence agents then found evidence that two epidemics of hemorrhagic fever swept the region in the late 1980s. The area had never previously known such diseases, which cause profuse bleeding and death.

“Our analysts,” Alibek said, “concluded that they were caused by an accident in a lab where Chinese scientists were weaponizing viral diseases.” Viral scourges that cause intense bleeding include Marburg fever and the dreaded Ebola virus. Both are endemic to Africa.

— Moscow mastered the art of rearranging genes to make harmful microbes even more potent and harder to counteract. Anthrax, a top biological warfare agent that causes high fever and death, was genetically altered, he says, to resist five kinds of antibiotics.

— The top-secret program obtained a sample of HIV, the AIDS virus, from the United States in 1985 and tried unsuccessfully to turn the slow killer into a weapon.

— A senior military official told him that the Soviet Union had waged germ warfare in Afghanistan from planes, spraying armed rebels with glanders in an unsuccessful bid to subdue them. Glanders is a chronic bacterial disease of horses that can be highly lethal in humans.

— Under a top-secret project known as Bonfire, Soviet scientists in 1989 discovered “a new class of weapons” — now called bioregulators — that could “damage the nervous system, alter moods, trigger psychological changes and even kill.” The KGB secret police agency was particularly interested in them because they “could not be traced by pathologists.” A Soviet program called Flute worked on germs and other agents that could be used mainly for political assassinations.

— While directing about half of the Soviet biological-warfare work force, he says, he discovered that an abandoned factory in Kazakhstan where he and his childhood friends had played after school had once made noxious germs meant to kill enemy crops and livestock.

In his book, Alibek, a Kazakh by birth, says the Soviet state devoted a considerable part of its treasury to readying deadly germs for war. At its peak in the late 1980s, he writes, the program had 60,000 employees working at scores of sites throughout the Soviet Union.

“The Americans had just two specialists in anthrax,” he wrote of his observations during his first tour of U.S. sites as part of a Soviet-American inspection agreement in 1991. “We had two thousand.”

About a dozen of the 40 institutes that were part of Biopreparat, the civilian cover group that Alibek helped run, were used “exclusively” for offensive agents and weapons for the military, he wrote.

1917-’19:
The Spanish flu, the most lethal influenza pandemic ever, kills half a million people. More people die as a result of this flu than die during World War I. Its spread is facilitated by troop movements in the closing months of the war. Mortality rates are unusually high for flu, especially among young, otherwise healthy adults.
1957-’58:
The Asian flu starts in southwest China in February 1957, possibly having originated in 1956 in Vladivostok, Russia, then spreads throughout the Pacific. Globally it affects 10 percent to 35 percent of the population, but overall mortality is much lower than in the 1918 epidemic, about 0.25 percent.
1968-’69:
Hong Kong flu claims 700,000 lives worldwide, 34,000 in the United States.
1976:
The Swine flu, isolated in New Jersey in a young army recruit, instills fear of a new pandemic and leads to a massive influenza-immunization program. The vaccinations lead to Guillain-Barre syndrome, an ascending paralysis, in 100,000 people and kills 5 percent of those afflicted.

Up until 40 years ago there was no way anyone could kill one-fourth of the world. Today “beasts of the earth” are multiplying by the trillions in laboratories boiling in the cauldron of hatred in the Middle East and before long, they will spill out into the deadliest hour of the planet. So deadly are these beasts that Jesus said in Mark 13:20 “And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days.”

  • What is the lesson? Without Jesus the RESURRECTION AND LIFE (11:25) – He provides us life, apart from Him is only endless dying.

 Seal #5 MARTYRS  (vv.9-11)

When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

  • What is the lesson? Without Jesus the LIGHT OF WORLD (8:12) – He illumines us, apart from Him is only impenetrable darkness.
  • When the fifth seal is broken, martyrs who died because of their faith during the Tribulation are seen under the altar in heaven, praying for Christ to take back the earth and avenge their blood.
  • These are the souls of those who are slain during the Tribulation period on account of their testimony to the Word of God.
  • The terrible martyrdom of Rev. 6 are much clearer to us who have lived through or pondered the horrors of World War II.

The atrocities of Nazi war criminals’ discrimination  —  ghettos concentration camps  —  mass extermination;  In 10 years, 60% of Jews in Europe, 6 million, were butchered. G. M. Gilbert wrote in his history of the criminal trials of those criminals called the Nuremburg Diary:  “…the torture, the starvation, the mass murder, the diabolical experiments on live human guinea pigs.  ‘History,’ he said, ‘does not record a crime perpetuated against so many victims or ever carried out with such calculated cruelty.’ ‘Mass murder,’ he said, ‘was becoming a State industry, with byproducts.’  That is only one page from the sordid story of modern persecution.  There are many pages more.  The world is getting ready for the breaking of this seal.

What is shown here, under the breaking of the fifth seal, is elaborated further in chapter seven, where the great tribulation is introduced.  Here only a preview is given of the terrible persecutions which will engulf the globe in a coming day.”  What leads to such faithfulness even to death?  One thing: Faithfulness to Christ in life.

What is the Result of the Transforming Spirit?

Jesus Christ calls all of us to walk in faithfulness to Him each day….In fact, we are called to be in living crucifixion as Romans 12:1-2 and Gal. 2:20 describes. When lived out that equals:

  • SEEING JESUS: We see Christ as our high priest and we are His priests. Hebrews 8:1 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; Revelation 1:6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Who offer Him:
  • LIVING SACRIFICES: Our lives as a daily sacrifice Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.;Romans 15:16 that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
  • BURNING DEVOTION: Our devotion as continual burnt offerings Mark 12:33 “And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
  • OVERFLOWING SERVICE: Our service poured out to Him as a drink offering Philippians 2:17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 2 Timothy 4:6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.
  • DOING GOOD DEEDS: Our deeds as intentional spiritual sacrifices. Hebrews 13:16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 1 Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
  • ASCENDING PRAYERS: Our  prayers constantly ascending as an incense offering. Psalm 141:2 Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Revelation 8:3-4 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand.
  • POURING WORSHIP: Our earnest worship poured out at His feet as a praise offering. Hebrews 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

Seal # 6 CHAOS (vv. 12-13)

I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.

  • What is the lesson? Without Jesus the GOOD SHEPHERD (10:11) – He cares for us, apart from Him is only aimless wandering.
  • A great shaking; signs in the heavens, terror on earth.
  • This means earthquake, sun darkened, moon red as blood, meteors, disturbances in the atmosphere and on earth, terror on rich and poor alike.
  • The great day of the wrath of the Lamb came; this clearly identifies the Tribulation period as the wrath of God.

In Revelation 6:15-17, John describes for us the greatest prayer meeting in the history of the world:  “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every slave, and every free man (that covers everybody) hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of His wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?”

So what’s the bottom line?  There are seven years of history left for Israel to complete in God’s program. It’s a time like never before – demonic creatures ravage the earth; one-half of the population is horribly murdered; earth is a wasteland; mankind fiercely fights against God and tries one last time to destroy Christ – and in that moment, He returns.

  • God has given to us the conclusion to human history- the Bible!  Trust Him completely.  If people are the only investment that lasts…. invest heavily in disciple making.
  • God has given to us a job to do for Him while He is away- soul-winning!  Therefore, obey Him now. If you haven’t started to give out the good news, start today.
  • God has given to us a way to stay in touch with Him – time in the Word! If you haven’t started start daily contact in the word and prayer today!
  • God has given to us a means to start an investment account in heaven – sacrificial giving! Give sacrificially to support His church. God has indicated the earth is doomed so start today.

Pleasing God and making disciples must be a priority!

REMEMBER WE ARE A SPIRIT WITH A BODY

Hebrews 12:23  to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,

SEE BEYOND MERE PHYSICAL LIFE

2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,

I WILL NOT FEAR. WHY?

Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

 

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  • GLOBAL GRAVEYARD: One out of every four people will die (see Rev. 6:8), some through the ravages of war, others by starvation, and amazingly many others by the ‘beasts of the earth’.  So, whether by death that come instantly and thus less dreaded or a slow and painful death that is lingering and agonizing-25 percent of all people will die.  As of 7:21 PM GMT (1:21 PM CST) the world’s population was 5,983,632,173 and growing at 7 million per month, so that means at least 1,496,000,000 will die. That amounts to just about five times the current population of the United States-can you imagine that? And remember that the population of the world is doubling every 39.5 years. So every day the number of people who will die becomes larger and larger.
  • GLOBAL GRASSFIRE: One third of all vegetation will be burned up. All grass, every tree, everything green will be destroyed (see Rev. 8:7).
  • GLOBAL  NUCLEAR WINTER: The sun and the moon will be darkened as nature goes into revolt (see Rev. 8:12).
  • GLOBAL HORROR SHOW: The gates of hell will open and hordes of locusts, the size of horses, will come upon the earth. Those locusts will  be allowed to sting men like scorpions and the pain will last for five months. The Bible says men will beg God to let them die but they will not die (see Rev. 9:3-6).
  • GLOBAL STARVATION: There will be worldwide famine unlike anything the world has ever seen (see Rev. 18:8).
  • GLOBAL WARFARE:  There will be a world war so bloody that the blood of those killed in battle will flow for two hundred miles up to the bridle of a horse in the valley of Jezreel.  This will be the Battle of Armageddon (see Rev. 14:20).
  • GLOBAL NIGHTMARE: All told, during the Great Tribulation, as many as half of all the people on the earth will be killed. Now do you see why God refers to the Rapture as a ‘blessed hope”? Because the Tribulation to come is so horrible!

It has been 52 years since a storm of such deadly intensity has struck Oklahoma. On  April 9, 1947, a twister killed 113 people. But Monday’s tornadoes awesome even for a region used to twisters. Tornado Alley, a swath running from west Texas through Oklahoma and Kansas to Iowa, is ripe for stormy conditions because of colliding air masses that occur each spring. The deadly tornado was first reported about 5:50 p.m. near Chickasha, about 45 miles southwest of the capital city. At first it just skipped across the flat Oklahoma countryside, uprooting trees, downing power lines, flattening outbuildings and ruining cars. That is, until it tore into southern Oklahoma City.

Then the tornado became a dark funnel that sucked up virtually everything in its path as it achieved an F-5 status by winds exceeding 260 mph.  Monday’s storm was the product of super cells, the kings of thunderstorms, which soar 60,000 feet into the atmosphere — nearly twice as high as the zone where jet aircraft fly. Unlike normal  thunderstorms which dissipate in an hour or so, this anvil-shaped super cell persisted for hours and traveled hundreds of miles, hurling the most destructive weather in its path.

So this past Monday we experienced just a sprinkle of the flood which lies ahead. What do I mean? The killer tornadoes are mild in their deadly destruction to what we see on God’s prophetic roadmap! The question for us is, if we were hit with this or any other foretaste of the Tribulation, what can we be doing now to be sure that we will not loose everything like those we witnessed this week.

On Monday May 3rd 1999 a swirling mass of twisting, tortured supercharged air began to descend from the sky over quiet pastures blanketed in the lush green carpet of spring. Within moments an ugly brown scar was left in the wake of this monstrous tornado.

Life for hundreds and thousands of families would change forever in the next hour. The tower of destruction began its systematic rape of the land as grass, trees, fences and farm buildings.

Ahead of the storm inexorably marching like a tidal wave of death lay quiet rows of beautiful homes. Inside were grandmothers and infants, photo albums and hamster cages, brand new pickups and pop up campers. Behind the storm lay shattered homes, shattered families, shattered lives, shattered bodies. What could be worse than that? To answer that question join me in Kansas at a military outpost called Camp Funston. It is March 4th, 1918 and the flu pandemic[1] of 1918 begins. Tens of millions of deaths later, it was and remains a mystery.

It began with a relatively mild initial assault on March 4, when the first reported case occurred at Camp Funston, Kans. Within four months, the virus had traversed the globe. The flu sickened millions but killed relatively few, and in the tumult of World War I, the first wave seemed pretty mundane.

No one knew it at the time, of course, but flu viruses are notoriously unstable– “genetically labile,” as one researcher puts it. Set one flu virus beside another, and the two may trade genes, a process called re-assortment. If this re-assortment produces a virus that closely resembles one of its parents, it is said to have undergone antigenic drift. On rare occasions, this scrambling can be dramatic. The virus becomes a kind of Frankenstein virus so different from existing strains that the human population has no immunity to it.

In August 1918, the mild virus apparently re-assorted into something positively deadly. Outbreaks caused by the new variant exploded almost simultaneously in three far-flung locations: France, Sierra Leone and Boston. The flu struck with a ferocity that shocked doctors, who feared this strange new pathogen might be an airborne version of the Black Death. Patients died awash in blood and gore, literally drowning as fluid filled their lungs.

The virus rocketed to the farthest points of the globe. From September 1918 through March 1919, it killed 33,387 people in New York City, just over 1% of the city’s population. In some Alaskan villages, the death toll topped 50%; in one, Teller Mission (n ow Brevig Mission), 85% were dead within a week.

One of the great mysteries of 1918 centers on who was killed by the virus. Even ordinary flu will cause deaths among the very young, the very old and people with a weakened immune system. The 1918 virus did kill within these groups, but it seemed to have a special passion for the young and hardy, ages 25 to 34, those typically most able to weather the flu.

Rumors flew of strange influenza-like diseases affecting animals, even moose, according to the pandemic’s chronicler, Alfred W. Crosby Jr. One rumor turned out to be true–disturbingly so for anyone familiar with the subsequent history of influenza research and the recent Hong Kong outbreak. Farmers in 1918 discovered that something was making their pigs very sick, with high fevers and bad coughs. No such pig flu had ever been noticed before 1918, but every fall thereafter an influenza-like illness attack ed the nation’s hog population. In 1928 a researcher from the Rockefeller Institute, Richard E. Shope, went to Iowa to investigate the phenomenon, and in 1930 he became the first scientist to isolate an influenza virus. Copies of it are stored today in laboratories around the world.

But somewhere beyond the starry sky there stands a herald angel with a trumpet in his hand, and by the decree of the Lord God Almighty, there is a day, there is an hour, there is a moment, there is an elected time when the angel shall sound and the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ.” [2]

The Beginning of the Tribulation (Matt. 24:4-14)

The events described in this section are “the beginning of birth-pangs” (Matt. 24:8). The image of a woman in travail is a picture of the Tribulation period (Isa. 13:6–11; 1 Thes. 5:5). Let’s consider some of the significant events that will occur at the beginning of this period.

  • GLOBAL FALSE TEACHING  (vv. 4–5). The Jews have often been led astray by false prophets and false christs. The rider on the white horse in Revelation 6:1–2 is the Antichrist, that final world dictator who will lead the nations astray. He will begin his career as a peacemaker, signing a covenant with Israel to protect her from her enemies (Dan. 9:27). Israel will welcome this man as their great benefactor (John 5:43).
  • GLOBAL WARFARE  (v. 6). Note that wars are not a sign of the end. There have always been wars in the world, and will be until the very end. Wars of themselves do not announce the end of the age or the coming of the Lord.
  • GLOBAL FAMINES (v. 7a). War and famine usually go together. Revelation 6:6 suggests terribly high prices for staple foods, for a “penny” was a day’s wages.
  • GLOBAL EPIDEMICS (vv. 7b-8). Earthquakes help to create famines, and both help to cause epidemics that take many lives.
  • GLOBAL PERSECUTIONS (v. 9). Christians have always been hated by the world, but here we have an acceleration of persecutions and murders. All nations will be involved. This certainly was not true in the history of the early church.
  • GLOBAL CHAOS (vv. 10–13). Those who once were true to each other will betray each other. This suggests that marriages, homes, and nations will be torn asunder because of lack of loyalty. Lawlessness will abound (Matt. 24:12), for even the law enforcement agencies will not be able to keep the peace. (Matthew 24:13 has nothing to do with personal salvation in this present age of grace. “The end” does not mean the end of this life; it refers to the end of the age
  • GLOBAL EVANGELISM (v. 14). Revelation 7:1–8 teaches that God will choose and seal 144,000 Jewish evangelists who will carry the kingdom message to the ends of the earth. This verse does not teach that the Gospel of God’s grace must be spread to every nation today before Jesus can return for His church. It is the Lord’s return at the end of the age that is in view here. Matt. 24:14). Those believers on earth during this terrible period, who endure in their faith, will be saved when the Lord comes at the end and delivers them.

Now As we look at Revelation 6 we are looking at the Tribulation, the first step in Christ’s taking back the earth, which is rightfully His. One by one Christ unrolls the seals. As each seal is broken, He takes further possession and control of His inheritance. Finally, “the seventh angel sounded; and there arose loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever’” (11:15). When He unrolls the seventh seal and the seventh trumpet blows, the earth is His.[3]

God Has a Week of Prophetic History Left for the Jews

THE EVENTS OF THE 70TH WEEK – Israel has seven years left to fulfill this prophecy, and it just so happens that the Tribulation is seven years.  Verse 27 gives us some of the details of this 70th week:  “And he (Antichrist) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (here’s the last week); and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate (CF.  Matt. 24:15), even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”  Beloved, the 70th week of Daniel is the Tribulation.  And the gap between the 69th and 70th is an undefined period of time.  Now, according to verse 27, at the beginning of the Tribulation the Antichrist is going to make a covenant with Israel, and give them back their temple and their worship.  But after three and one-half years, he will suddenly violate the covenant and violently persecute Israel.

JESUS’ DESCRIPTION of the Tribulation in  (Matt. 24:3-34) exactly parallels the seals of Rev. 6!

Seal #1 FALSE PEACE (vv. 1-2)

Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.”2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

  • What is the lesson? Without Jesus the WAY, TRUTH & LIFE (14:6) – He guides us, apart from Him is only endless lostness.
  • This is a picture of the release of Antichrist into the world scene; a white horse; its rider has a bow and crown, and he goes forth to conquer.

Seal #2 WAR (vv. 3-4)

When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.

  • What is the lesson? Without Jesus the DOOR OF SHEEP (10:7,9) – He admits us to life, apart from Him is only hopeless exclusion.
  • A red horse; a great sword given to the rider; peace taken from the earth (vs. 3-4) speaks of the unmasking of Antichrist who brings a false, superficial peace.  But at this point, peace is removed from the earth and the time of killing begins (cf. Ezk. 38:21)
  • One estimate counts 143 separate wars and more than 12 million dead since 1945.

WAR ITSELF HAS INTENSIFIED[4]: Moreover, the lethality of modern conventional weapons is virtually incomprehensible.  In World War II, the standard infantry rifle, the M-1, fired an eight-round clip.

  • Today’s M-16 fires a 30-round magazine of far more devastating projectiles.
  • The A-10 attack aircraft, a jet used to support ground troops, carries a heavier bomb payload than the largest World War II strategic bomber, the B-29.
  • An AC- 130 gunship, a transport aircraft configured for fire support, carries four 20mm Vulcan cannons with six barrels each, four multibarreled 7.62mm miniguns, a 40mm Bofors cannon and a  105mm automatic howitzer.  In other words, one plane delivers the firepower of a World War I infantry battalion.
  • Tanks and artillery shoot twice as far, several times more rapidly and much more accurately than in 1945.  Or, as Professor Richard A. Gabriel of St. Anselm’s College notes in his newly published book, “No More Heroes”:  “A Soviet motorized rifle division can deliver ten times the firepower at three times the rate of a similar World War II division.  The same is true of NATO divisions.”  His conclusion:  High-intensity conventional warfare, like nuclear war, may now be too terrible to fight.

Seal #3 FAMINE (vv. 5-6)

When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.”

  • What is the lesson? Without Jesus the BREAD OF LIFE (6:35) – He sustains us, apart from Him is only unsatisfied hunger.
  • A denarius was one day’s wage (or fifteen cents).  A slave would work a whole day and earn fifteen cents.  Here we see that one meal of wheat or three meals of barley will cost an entire day’s wages.  Now that’s famine!  All a man’s money will go to buy food.  A terrible famine is going to hit the earth.

STARVATION[5] – (By Anastasia Toufexis) Close to the Zocalo, Mexico City’s great central square, lies the barrio of Morelos, a vast warren of dusty, potholed streets and narrow entryways.  The passages lead to a gloomy world.  On each side of a roofless patio is a ten-room jumble.  Each room holds a family; each family averages five people.  The only bathrooms-two to serve 100 people-are located at the back of the patio.  The odor of grease and sewage permeates the air.  Flies buzz relentlessly.  The people who live here are considered lucky.

In the shantytowns on Mexico City’s outskirts, tens of thousands of people shelter in huts made of cardboard with aluminum roofs.  There is no running water and no sanitation.  The stench is overpowering:  garbage and human waste heap up in piles.  Rats roam freely, like stray domestic animals.

To the more privileged, those scenes look like a science-fiction vision of civilization’s breakdown, perhaps after a nuclear war.  In fact, Mexico City has been described as the anteroom to an ecological Hiroshima.  With 20 million residents-up from 9 million only 20 years ago-the Mexican capital is considered the most populous urban center on earth.  Mexico capital has been struck not by military weapons but by a population bomb.

Seal #4 DEATH   (vv.7-8)

When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.”8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.

With the breaking of this seal, one-fourth of the population of the world is going to die. As a green (greek chloros as in chlorine) horse:  death, and hades follows. Death receives the bodies and hides the souls of unbelievers. Death may refer to pestilence (Scott, Ironside, Gaebelein). beasties of leuwenhook microscope Think for a moment of the vast legions of deadly agents surrounding you this morning:

  • TB: once thought conquered has reemerged in highly resistant strains that have even known to piggyback with HIV to be contagious in an airborne infection.
  • Staph: causing a fifth of the hospital systems two million infections a year has just shown up as staphylococcus aureus which is resistant to vancomycin, the final gun in the antibiotic arsenal. At present 60 to 80,000 die of staph annually but if aureus comes out it is so deadly the numbers will skyrocket.
  • Ebola: with a mortality rate of 90% + in less than a week, Ebola is horrible. Connective tissues of the body liquefies and every orifice of the body  bleeds as the infected individual convulses and splashes deadly contaminated blood in every direction. There is no known cure, no treatment, in fact no awareness of how it is transmitted. Chilling to say the least if it started in a populated area.
  • biological warfare: anthrax is a cheaply produced poor man’s atom bomb. Once infected the area is persistently a problem for decades. If Berlin had been hit with anthrax in WWII it would still be uninhabitable today!
  • Yursinia pestis: or to us non-doctor types bubonic plague is (rod-shaped, non-motile, non-sporulating, gram-negative, aerobic bacterium) in other words it killed tens of millions of Europeans in the Middle Ages and it is being cultivated in terrorist counties laboratories this morning! Black Death as it was called in the 1400’s goes from rats to fleas to humans to hemorrhages, to suffocation and/or general toxemia.
  • Botulinum toxin: this is the most powerful poison known to man. Nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, repiratory paralysis and death . . . all from a cultured bacteria called clostridium botulinum anyone can grow in their home lab with $10,000 worth of equipment in a room 15 feet square. In 1986 Ma Anan Sheela confessed to growing and spreading trillions salmonella bacteria in four restaurant salad bars of Oregon as a biological terrorist. 750 people became seriously ill in that one town!

NY TIMES April 5, 1999 DEFECTOR TELLS OF SOVIET AND CHINESE GERM WEAPONS

By WILLIAM J. BROAD and JUDITH MILLER

The most senior defector from the Soviet germ-warfare program says in a new book that Soviet officials concluded that China had suffered a serious accident at one of its secret plants for developing biological weapons, causing two major epidemics.

The book also reports that Soviet researchers tried to turn HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, into a weapon and that even as the last Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev, pursued peace openings with the West, he ordered a vast expansion of the deadly effort to turn germs and viruses into weapons of mass destruction.

The defector, Kanatjan Alibekov, now known as Ken Alibek, says in the book that as deputy director of a top branch of the Soviet program, he knew of the disaster in China because he saw secret Soviet intelligence reports twice a month.

Spy satellites peering down at China found what seemed to be a large biological-weapons laboratory and plant near a remote site for testing nuclear warheads, he wrote. Intelligence agents then found evidence that two epidemics of hemorrhagic fever swept the region in the late 1980s. The area had never previously known such diseases, which cause profuse bleeding and death.

“Our analysts,” Alibek said, “concluded that they were caused by an accident in a lab where Chinese scientists were weaponizing viral diseases.” Viral scourges that cause intense bleeding include Marburg fever and the dreaded Ebola virus. Both are endemic to Africa.

— Moscow mastered the art of rearranging genes to make harmful microbes even more potent and harder to counteract. Anthrax, a top biological warfare agent that causes high fever and death, was genetically altered, he says, to resist five kinds of antibiotics.

— The top-secret program obtained a sample of HIV, the AIDS virus, from the United States in 1985 and tried unsuccessfully to turn the slow killer into a weapon.

— A senior military official told him that the Soviet Union had waged germ warfare in Afghanistan from planes, spraying armed rebels with glanders in an unsuccessful bid to subdue them. Glanders is a chronic bacterial disease of horses that can be highly lethal in humans.

— Under a top-secret project known as Bonfire, Soviet scientists in 1989 discovered “a new class of weapons” — now called bioregulators — that could “damage the nervous system, alter moods, trigger psychological changes and even kill.” The KGB secret police agency was particularly interested in them because they “could not be traced by pathologists.” A Soviet program called Flute worked on germs and other agents that could be used mainly for political assassinations.

— While directing about half of the Soviet biological-warfare work force, he says, he discovered that an abandoned factory in Kazakhstan where he and his childhood friends had played after school had once made noxious germs meant to kill enemy crops and livestock.

In his book, Alibek, a Kazakh by birth, says the Soviet state devoted a considerable part of its treasury to readying deadly germs for war. At its peak in the late 1980s, he writes, the program had 60,000 employees working at scores of sites throughout the Soviet Union.

“The Americans had just two specialists in anthrax,” he wrote of his observations during his first tour of U.S. sites as part of a Soviet-American inspection agreement in 1991. “We had two thousand.”

About a dozen of the 40 institutes that were part of Biopreparat, the civilian cover group that Alibek helped run, were used “exclusively” for offensive agents and weapons for the military, he wrote.

1917-’19:
The Spanish flu, the most lethal influenza pandemic ever, kills half a million people. More people die as a result of this flu than die during World War I. Its spread is facilitated by troop movements in the closing months of the war. Mortality rates are unusually high for flu, especially among young, otherwise healthy adults.
1957-’58:
The Asian flu starts in southwest China in February 1957, possibly having originated in 1956 in Vladivostok, Russia, then spreads throughout the Pacific. Globally it affects 10 percent to 35 percent of the population, but overall mortality is much lower than in the 1918 epidemic, about 0.25 percent.
1968-’69:
Hong Kong flu claims 700,000 lives worldwide, 34,000 in the United States.
1976:
The Swine flu, isolated in New Jersey in a young army recruit, instills fear of a new pandemic and leads to a massive influenza-immunization program. The vaccinations lead to Guillain-Barre syndrome, an ascending paralysis, in 100,000 people and kills 5 percent of those afflicted.

Up until 40 years ago there was no way anyone could kill one-fourth of the world. Today “beasts of the earth” are multiplying by the trillions in laboratories boiling in the cauldron of hatred in the Middle East and before long, they will spill out into the deadliest hour of the planet. So deadly are these beasts that Jesus said in Mark 13:20 “And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days.”

  • What is the lesson? Without Jesus the RESURRECTION AND LIFE (11:25) – He provides us life, apart from Him is only endless dying.

 Seal #5 MARTYRS  (vv.9-11)

When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

  • What is the lesson? Without Jesus the LIGHT OF WORLD (8:12) – He illumines us, apart from Him is only impenetrable darkness.
  • When the fifth seal is broken, martyrs who died because of their faith during the Tribulation are seen under the altar in heaven, praying for Christ to take back the earth and avenge their blood.
  • These are the souls of those who are slain during the Tribulation period on account of their testimony to the Word of God.
  • The terrible martyrdom of Rev. 6 are much clearer to us who have lived through or pondered the horrors of World War II.

The atrocities of Nazi war criminals’ discrimination  —  ghettos concentration camps  —  mass extermination;  In 10 years, 60% of Jews in Europe, 6 million, were butchered. G. M. Gilbert wrote in his history of the criminal trials of those criminals called the Nuremburg Diary:  “…the torture, the starvation, the mass murder, the diabolical experiments on live human guinea pigs.  ‘History,’ he said, ‘does not record a crime perpetuated against so many victims or ever carried out with such calculated cruelty.’ ‘Mass murder,’ he said, ‘was becoming a State industry, with byproducts.’  That is only one page from the sordid story of modern persecution.  There are many pages more.  The world is getting ready for the breaking of this seal.

What is shown here, under the breaking of the fifth seal, is elaborated further in chapter seven, where the great tribulation is introduced.  Here only a preview is given of the terrible persecutions which will engulf the globe in a coming day.”  What leads to such faithfulness even to death?  One thing: Faithfulness to Christ in life.

What is the Result of the Transforming Spirit?

Jesus Christ calls all of us to walk in faithfulness to Him each day….In fact, we are called to be in living crucifixion as Romans 12:1-2 and Gal. 2:20 describes. When lived out that equals:

  • SEEING JESUS: We see Christ as our high priest and we are His priests. Hebrews 8:1 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; Revelation 1:6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Who offer Him:
  • LIVING SACRIFICES: Our lives as a daily sacrifice Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.;Romans 15:16 that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
  • BURNING DEVOTION: Our devotion as continual burnt offerings Mark 12:33 “And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
  • OVERFLOWING SERVICE: Our service poured out to Him as a drink offering Philippians 2:17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 2 Timothy 4:6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.
  • DOING GOOD DEEDS: Our deeds as intentional spiritual sacrifices. Hebrews 13:16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 1 Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
  • ASCENDING PRAYERS: Our  prayers constantly ascending as an incense offering. Psalm 141:2 Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Revelation 8:3-4 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand.
  • POURING WORSHIP: Our earnest worship poured out at His feet as a praise offering. Hebrews 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

Seal # 6 CHAOS (vv. 12-13)

I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.

  • What is the lesson? Without Jesus the GOOD SHEPHERD (10:11) – He cares for us, apart from Him is only aimless wandering.
  • A great shaking; signs in the heavens, terror on earth.
  • This means earthquake, sun darkened, moon red as blood, meteors, disturbances in the atmosphere and on earth, terror on rich and poor alike.
  • The great day of the wrath of the Lamb came; this clearly identifies the Tribulation period as the wrath of God.

In Revelation 6:15-17, John describes for us the greatest prayer meeting in the history of the world:  “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every slave, and every free man (that covers everybody) hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of His wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?”

So what’s the bottom line?  There are seven years of history left for Israel to complete in God’s program. It’s a time like never before – demonic creatures ravage the earth; one-half of the population is horribly murdered; earth is a wasteland; mankind fiercely fights against God and tries one last time to destroy Christ – and in that moment, He returns.

  • God has given to us the conclusion to human history- the Bible!  Trust Him completely.  If people are the only investment that lasts…. invest heavily in disciple making.
  • God has given to us a job to do for Him while He is away- soul-winning!  Therefore, obey Him now. If you haven’t started to give out the good news, start today.
  • God has given to us a way to stay in touch with Him – time in the Word! If you haven’t started start daily contact in the word and prayer today!
  • God has given to us a means to start an investment account in heaven – sacrificial giving! Give sacrificially to support His church. God has indicated the earth is doomed so start today.

Pleasing God and making disciples must be a priority!

REMEMBER WE ARE A SPIRIT WITH A BODY

Hebrews 12:23  to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,

SEE BEYOND MERE PHYSICAL LIFE

2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,

I WILL NOT FEAR. WHY?

Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

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  • GLOBAL GRAVEYARD: One out of every four people will die (see Rev. 6:8), some through the ravages of war, others by starvation, and amazingly many others by the ‘beasts of the earth’.  So, whether by death that come instantly and thus less dreaded or a slow and painful death that is lingering and agonizing-25 percent of all people will die.  As of 7:21 PM GMT (1:21 PM CST) the world’s population was 5,983,632,173 and growing at 7 million per month, so that means at least 1,496,000,000 will die. That amounts to just about five times the current population of the United States-can you imagine that? And remember that the population of the world is doubling every 39.5 years. So every day the number of people who will die becomes larger and larger.
  • GLOBAL GRASSFIRE: One third of all vegetation will be burned up. All grass, every tree, everything green will be destroyed (see Rev. 8:7).
  • GLOBAL  NUCLEAR WINTER: The sun and the moon will be darkened as nature goes into revolt (see Rev. 8:12).
  • GLOBAL HORROR SHOW: The gates of hell will open and hordes of locusts, the size of horses, will come upon the earth. Those locusts will  be allowed to sting men like scorpions and the pain will last for five months. The Bible says men will beg God to let them die but they will not die (see Rev. 9:3-6).
  • GLOBAL STARVATION: There will be worldwide famine unlike anything the world has ever seen (see Rev. 18:8).
  • GLOBAL WARFARE:  There will be a world war so bloody that the blood of those killed in battle will flow for two hundred miles up to the bridle of a horse in the valley of Jezreel.  This will be the Battle of Armageddon (see Rev. 14:20).
  • GLOBAL NIGHTMARE: All told, during the Great Tribulation, as many as half of all the people on the earth will be killed. Now do you see why God refers to the Rapture as a ‘blessed hope”? Because the Tribulation to come is so horrible!

It has been 52 years since a storm of such deadly intensity has struck Oklahoma. On  April 9, 1947, a twister killed 113 people. But Monday’s tornadoes awesome even for a region used to twisters. Tornado Alley, a swath running from west Texas through Oklahoma and Kansas to Iowa, is ripe for stormy conditions because of colliding air masses that occur each spring. The deadly tornado was first reported about 5:50 p.m. near Chickasha, about 45 miles southwest of the capital city. At first it just skipped across the flat Oklahoma countryside, uprooting trees, downing power lines, flattening outbuildings and ruining cars. That is, until it tore into southern Oklahoma City.

Then the tornado became a dark funnel that sucked up virtually everything in its path as it achieved an F-5 status by winds exceeding 260 mph.  Monday’s storm was the product of super cells, the kings of thunderstorms, which soar 60,000 feet into the atmosphere — nearly twice as high as the zone where jet aircraft fly. Unlike normal  thunderstorms which dissipate in an hour or so, this anvil-shaped super cell persisted for hours and traveled hundreds of miles, hurling the most destructive weather in its path.

So this past Monday we experienced just a sprinkle of the flood which lies ahead. What do I mean? The killer tornadoes are mild in their deadly destruction to what we see on God’s prophetic roadmap! The question for us is, if we were hit with this or any other foretaste of the Tribulation, what can we be doing now to be sure that we will not loose everything like those we witnessed this week.

On Monday May 3rd 1999 a swirling mass of twisting, tortured supercharged air began to descend from the sky over quiet pastures blanketed in the lush green carpet of spring. Within moments an ugly brown scar was left in the wake of this monstrous tornado.

Life for hundreds and thousands of families would change forever in the next hour. The tower of destruction began its systematic rape of the land as grass, trees, fences and farm buildings.

Ahead of the storm inexorably marching like a tidal wave of death lay quiet rows of beautiful homes. Inside were grandmothers and infants, photo albums and hamster cages, brand new pickups and pop up campers. Behind the storm lay shattered homes, shattered families, shattered lives, shattered bodies. What could be worse than that? To answer that question join me in Kansas at a military outpost called Camp Funston. It is March 4th, 1918 and the flu pandemic[1] of 1918 begins. Tens of millions of deaths later, it was and remains a mystery.

It began with a relatively mild initial assault on March 4, when the first reported case occurred at Camp Funston, Kans. Within four months, the virus had traversed the globe. The flu sickened millions but killed relatively few, and in the tumult of World War I, the first wave seemed pretty mundane.

No one knew it at the time, of course, but flu viruses are notoriously unstable– “genetically labile,” as one researcher puts it. Set one flu virus beside another, and the two may trade genes, a process called re-assortment. If this re-assortment produces a virus that closely resembles one of its parents, it is said to have undergone antigenic drift. On rare occasions, this scrambling can be dramatic. The virus becomes a kind of Frankenstein virus so different from existing strains that the human population has no immunity to it.

In August 1918, the mild virus apparently re-assorted into something positively deadly. Outbreaks caused by the new variant exploded almost simultaneously in three far-flung locations: France, Sierra Leone and Boston. The flu struck with a ferocity that shocked doctors, who feared this strange new pathogen might be an airborne version of the Black Death. Patients died awash in blood and gore, literally drowning as fluid filled their lungs.

The virus rocketed to the farthest points of the globe. From September 1918 through March 1919, it killed 33,387 people in New York City, just over 1% of the city’s population. In some Alaskan villages, the death toll topped 50%; in one, Teller Mission (n ow Brevig Mission), 85% were dead within a week.

One of the great mysteries of 1918 centers on who was killed by the virus. Even ordinary flu will cause deaths among the very young, the very old and people with a weakened immune system. The 1918 virus did kill within these groups, but it seemed to have a special passion for the young and hardy, ages 25 to 34, those typically most able to weather the flu.

Rumors flew of strange influenza-like diseases affecting animals, even moose, according to the pandemic’s chronicler, Alfred W. Crosby Jr. One rumor turned out to be true–disturbingly so for anyone familiar with the subsequent history of influenza research and the recent Hong Kong outbreak. Farmers in 1918 discovered that something was making their pigs very sick, with high fevers and bad coughs. No such pig flu had ever been noticed before 1918, but every fall thereafter an influenza-like illness attack ed the nation’s hog population. In 1928 a researcher from the Rockefeller Institute, Richard E. Shope, went to Iowa to investigate the phenomenon, and in 1930 he became the first scientist to isolate an influenza virus. Copies of it are stored today in laboratories around the world.

But somewhere beyond the starry sky there stands a herald angel with a trumpet in his hand, and by the decree of the Lord God Almighty, there is a day, there is an hour, there is a moment, there is an elected time when the angel shall sound and the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ.” [2]

The Beginning of the Tribulation (Matt. 24:4-14)

The events described in this section are “the beginning of birth-pangs” (Matt. 24:8). The image of a woman in travail is a picture of the Tribulation period (Isa. 13:6–11; 1 Thes. 5:5). Let’s consider some of the significant events that will occur at the beginning of this period.

  • GLOBAL FALSE TEACHING  (vv. 4–5). The Jews have often been led astray by false prophets and false christs. The rider on the white horse in Revelation 6:1–2 is the Antichrist, that final world dictator who will lead the nations astray. He will begin his career as a peacemaker, signing a covenant with Israel to protect her from her enemies (Dan. 9:27). Israel will welcome this man as their great benefactor (John 5:43).
  • GLOBAL WARFARE  (v. 6). Note that wars are not a sign of the end. There have always been wars in the world, and will be until the very end. Wars of themselves do not announce the end of the age or the coming of the Lord.
  • GLOBAL FAMINES (v. 7a). War and famine usually go together. Revelation 6:6 suggests terribly high prices for staple foods, for a “penny” was a day’s wages.
  • GLOBAL EPIDEMICS (vv. 7b-8). Earthquakes help to create famines, and both help to cause epidemics that take many lives.
  • GLOBAL PERSECUTIONS (v. 9). Christians have always been hated by the world, but here we have an acceleration of persecutions and murders. All nations will be involved. This certainly was not true in the history of the early church.
  • GLOBAL CHAOS (vv. 10–13). Those who once were true to each other will betray each other. This suggests that marriages, homes, and nations will be torn asunder because of lack of loyalty. Lawlessness will abound (Matt. 24:12), for even the law enforcement agencies will not be able to keep the peace. (Matthew 24:13 has nothing to do with personal salvation in this present age of grace. “The end” does not mean the end of this life; it refers to the end of the age
  • GLOBAL EVANGELISM (v. 14). Revelation 7:1–8 teaches that God will choose and seal 144,000 Jewish evangelists who will carry the kingdom message to the ends of the earth. This verse does not teach that the Gospel of God’s grace must be spread to every nation today before Jesus can return for His church. It is the Lord’s return at the end of the age that is in view here. Matt. 24:14). Those believers on earth during this terrible period, who endure in their faith, will be saved when the Lord comes at the end and delivers them.

Now As we look at Revelation 6 we are looking at the Tribulation, the first step in Christ’s taking back the earth, which is rightfully His. One by one Christ unrolls the seals. As each seal is broken, He takes further possession and control of His inheritance. Finally, “the seventh angel sounded; and there arose loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever’” (11:15). When He unrolls the seventh seal and the seventh trumpet blows, the earth is His.[3]

God Has a Week of Prophetic History Left for the Jews

THE EVENTS OF THE 70TH WEEK – Israel has seven years left to fulfill this prophecy, and it just so happens that the Tribulation is seven years.  Verse 27 gives us some of the details of this 70th week:  “And he (Antichrist) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (here’s the last week); and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate (CF.  Matt. 24:15), even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”  Beloved, the 70th week of Daniel is the Tribulation.  And the gap between the 69th and 70th is an undefined period of time.  Now, according to verse 27, at the beginning of the Tribulation the Antichrist is going to make a covenant with Israel, and give them back their temple and their worship.  But after three and one-half years, he will suddenly violate the covenant and violently persecute Israel.

JESUS’ DESCRIPTION of the Tribulation in  (Matt. 24:3-34) exactly parallels the seals of Rev. 6!

Seal #1 FALSE PEACE (vv. 1-2)

Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.”2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

  • What is the lesson? Without Jesus the WAY, TRUTH & LIFE (14:6) – He guides us, apart from Him is only endless lostness.
  • This is a picture of the release of Antichrist into the world scene; a white horse; its rider has a bow and crown, and he goes forth to conquer.

Seal #2 WAR (vv. 3-4)

When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.

  • What is the lesson? Without Jesus the DOOR OF SHEEP (10:7,9) – He admits us to life, apart from Him is only hopeless exclusion.
  • A red horse; a great sword given to the rider; peace taken from the earth (vs. 3-4) speaks of the unmasking of Antichrist who brings a false, superficial peace.  But at this point, peace is removed from the earth and the time of killing begins (cf. Ezk. 38:21)
  • One estimate counts 143 separate wars and more than 12 million dead since 1945.

WAR ITSELF HAS INTENSIFIED[4]: Moreover, the lethality of modern conventional weapons is virtually incomprehensible.  In World War II, the standard infantry rifle, the M-1, fired an eight-round clip.

  • Today’s M-16 fires a 30-round magazine of far more devastating projectiles.
  • The A-10 attack aircraft, a jet used to support ground troops, carries a heavier bomb payload than the largest World War II strategic bomber, the B-29.
  • An AC- 130 gunship, a transport aircraft configured for fire support, carries four 20mm Vulcan cannons with six barrels each, four multibarreled 7.62mm miniguns, a 40mm Bofors cannon and a  105mm automatic howitzer.  In other words, one plane delivers the firepower of a World War I infantry battalion.
  • Tanks and artillery shoot twice as far, several times more rapidly and much more accurately than in 1945.  Or, as Professor Richard A. Gabriel of St. Anselm’s College notes in his newly published book, “No More Heroes”:  “A Soviet motorized rifle division can deliver ten times the firepower at three times the rate of a similar World War II division.  The same is true of NATO divisions.”  His conclusion:  High-intensity conventional warfare, like nuclear war, may now be too terrible to fight.

Seal #3 FAMINE (vv. 5-6)

When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.”

  • What is the lesson? Without Jesus the BREAD OF LIFE (6:35) – He sustains us, apart from Him is only unsatisfied hunger.
  • A denarius was one day’s wage (or fifteen cents).  A slave would work a whole day and earn fifteen cents.  Here we see that one meal of wheat or three meals of barley will cost an entire day’s wages.  Now that’s famine!  All a man’s money will go to buy food.  A terrible famine is going to hit the earth.

STARVATION[5] – (By Anastasia Toufexis) Close to the Zocalo, Mexico City’s great central square, lies the barrio of Morelos, a vast warren of dusty, potholed streets and narrow entryways.  The passages lead to a gloomy world.  On each side of a roofless patio is a ten-room jumble.  Each room holds a family; each family averages five people.  The only bathrooms-two to serve 100 people-are located at the back of the patio.  The odor of grease and sewage permeates the air.  Flies buzz relentlessly.  The people who live here are considered lucky.

In the shantytowns on Mexico City’s outskirts, tens of thousands of people shelter in huts made of cardboard with aluminum roofs.  There is no running water and no sanitation.  The stench is overpowering:  garbage and human waste heap up in piles.  Rats roam freely, like stray domestic animals.

To the more privileged, those scenes look like a science-fiction vision of civilization’s breakdown, perhaps after a nuclear war.  In fact, Mexico City has been described as the anteroom to an ecological Hiroshima.  With 20 million residents-up from 9 million only 20 years ago-the Mexican capital is considered the most populous urban center on earth.  Mexico capital has been struck not by military weapons but by a population bomb.

Seal #4 DEATH   (vv.7-8)

When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.”8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.

With the breaking of this seal, one-fourth of the population of the world is going to die. As a green (greek chloros as in chlorine) horse:  death, and hades follows. Death receives the bodies and hides the souls of unbelievers. Death may refer to pestilence (Scott, Ironside, Gaebelein). beasties of leuwenhook microscope Think for a moment of the vast legions of deadly agents surrounding you this morning:

  • TB: once thought conquered has reemerged in highly resistant strains that have even known to piggyback with HIV to be contagious in an airborne infection.
  • Staph: causing a fifth of the hospital systems two million infections a year has just shown up as staphylococcus aureus which is resistant to vancomycin, the final gun in the antibiotic arsenal. At present 60 to 80,000 die of staph annually but if aureus comes out it is so deadly the numbers will skyrocket.
  • Ebola: with a mortality rate of 90% + in less than a week, Ebola is horrible. Connective tissues of the body liquefies and every orifice of the body  bleeds as the infected individual convulses and splashes deadly contaminated blood in every direction. There is no known cure, no treatment, in fact no awareness of how it is transmitted. Chilling to say the least if it started in a populated area.
  • biological warfare: anthrax is a cheaply produced poor man’s atom bomb. Once infected the area is persistently a problem for decades. If Berlin had been hit with anthrax in WWII it would still be uninhabitable today!
  • Yursinia pestis: or to us non-doctor types bubonic plague is (rod-shaped, non-motile, non-sporulating, gram-negative, aerobic bacterium) in other words it killed tens of millions of Europeans in the Middle Ages and it is being cultivated in terrorist counties laboratories this morning! Black Death as it was called in the 1400’s goes from rats to fleas to humans to hemorrhages, to suffocation and/or general toxemia.
  • Botulinum toxin: this is the most powerful poison known to man. Nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, repiratory paralysis and death . . . all from a cultured bacteria called clostridium botulinum anyone can grow in their home lab with $10,000 worth of equipment in a room 15 feet square. In 1986 Ma Anan Sheela confessed to growing and spreading trillions salmonella bacteria in four restaurant salad bars of Oregon as a biological terrorist. 750 people became seriously ill in that one town!

NY TIMES April 5, 1999 DEFECTOR TELLS OF SOVIET AND CHINESE GERM WEAPONS

By WILLIAM J. BROAD and JUDITH MILLER

The most senior defector from the Soviet germ-warfare program says in a new book that Soviet officials concluded that China had suffered a serious accident at one of its secret plants for developing biological weapons, causing two major epidemics.

The book also reports that Soviet researchers tried to turn HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, into a weapon and that even as the last Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev, pursued peace openings with the West, he ordered a vast expansion of the deadly effort to turn germs and viruses into weapons of mass destruction.

The defector, Kanatjan Alibekov, now known as Ken Alibek, says in the book that as deputy director of a top branch of the Soviet program, he knew of the disaster in China because he saw secret Soviet intelligence reports twice a month.

Spy satellites peering down at China found what seemed to be a large biological-weapons laboratory and plant near a remote site for testing nuclear warheads, he wrote. Intelligence agents then found evidence that two epidemics of hemorrhagic fever swept the region in the late 1980s. The area had never previously known such diseases, which cause profuse bleeding and death.

“Our analysts,” Alibek said, “concluded that they were caused by an accident in a lab where Chinese scientists were weaponizing viral diseases.” Viral scourges that cause intense bleeding include Marburg fever and the dreaded Ebola virus. Both are endemic to Africa.

— Moscow mastered the art of rearranging genes to make harmful microbes even more potent and harder to counteract. Anthrax, a top biological warfare agent that causes high fever and death, was genetically altered, he says, to resist five kinds of antibiotics.

— The top-secret program obtained a sample of HIV, the AIDS virus, from the United States in 1985 and tried unsuccessfully to turn the slow killer into a weapon.

— A senior military official told him that the Soviet Union had waged germ warfare in Afghanistan from planes, spraying armed rebels with glanders in an unsuccessful bid to subdue them. Glanders is a chronic bacterial disease of horses that can be highly lethal in humans.

— Under a top-secret project known as Bonfire, Soviet scientists in 1989 discovered “a new class of weapons” — now called bioregulators — that could “damage the nervous system, alter moods, trigger psychological changes and even kill.” The KGB secret police agency was particularly interested in them because they “could not be traced by pathologists.” A Soviet program called Flute worked on germs and other agents that could be used mainly for political assassinations.

— While directing about half of the Soviet biological-warfare work force, he says, he discovered that an abandoned factory in Kazakhstan where he and his childhood friends had played after school had once made noxious germs meant to kill enemy crops and livestock.

In his book, Alibek, a Kazakh by birth, says the Soviet state devoted a considerable part of its treasury to readying deadly germs for war. At its peak in the late 1980s, he writes, the program had 60,000 employees working at scores of sites throughout the Soviet Union.

“The Americans had just two specialists in anthrax,” he wrote of his observations during his first tour of U.S. sites as part of a Soviet-American inspection agreement in 1991. “We had two thousand.”

About a dozen of the 40 institutes that were part of Biopreparat, the civilian cover group that Alibek helped run, were used “exclusively” for offensive agents and weapons for the military, he wrote.

1917-’19:
The Spanish flu, the most lethal influenza pandemic ever, kills half a million people. More people die as a result of this flu than die during World War I. Its spread is facilitated by troop movements in the closing months of the war. Mortality rates are unusually high for flu, especially among young, otherwise healthy adults.
1957-’58:
The Asian flu starts in southwest China in February 1957, possibly having originated in 1956 in Vladivostok, Russia, then spreads throughout the Pacific. Globally it affects 10 percent to 35 percent of the population, but overall mortality is much lower than in the 1918 epidemic, about 0.25 percent.
1968-’69:
Hong Kong flu claims 700,000 lives worldwide, 34,000 in the United States.
1976:
The Swine flu, isolated in New Jersey in a young army recruit, instills fear of a new pandemic and leads to a massive influenza-immunization program. The vaccinations lead to Guillain-Barre syndrome, an ascending paralysis, in 100,000 people and kills 5 percent of those afflicted.

Up until 40 years ago there was no way anyone could kill one-fourth of the world. Today “beasts of the earth” are multiplying by the trillions in laboratories boiling in the cauldron of hatred in the Middle East and before long, they will spill out into the deadliest hour of the planet. So deadly are these beasts that Jesus said in Mark 13:20 “And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days.”

  • What is the lesson? Without Jesus the RESURRECTION AND LIFE (11:25) – He provides us life, apart from Him is only endless dying.

 Seal #5 MARTYRS  (vv.9-11)

When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

  • What is the lesson? Without Jesus the LIGHT OF WORLD (8:12) – He illumines us, apart from Him is only impenetrable darkness.
  • When the fifth seal is broken, martyrs who died because of their faith during the Tribulation are seen under the altar in heaven, praying for Christ to take back the earth and avenge their blood.
  • These are the souls of those who are slain during the Tribulation period on account of their testimony to the Word of God.
  • The terrible martyrdom of Rev. 6 are much clearer to us who have lived through or pondered the horrors of World War II.

The atrocities of Nazi war criminals’ discrimination  —  ghettos concentration camps  —  mass extermination;  In 10 years, 60% of Jews in Europe, 6 million, were butchered. G. M. Gilbert wrote in his history of the criminal trials of those criminals called the Nuremburg Diary:  “…the torture, the starvation, the mass murder, the diabolical experiments on live human guinea pigs.  ‘History,’ he said, ‘does not record a crime perpetuated against so many victims or ever carried out with such calculated cruelty.’ ‘Mass murder,’ he said, ‘was becoming a State industry, with byproducts.’  That is only one page from the sordid story of modern persecution.  There are many pages more.  The world is getting ready for the breaking of this seal.

What is shown here, under the breaking of the fifth seal, is elaborated further in chapter seven, where the great tribulation is introduced.  Here only a preview is given of the terrible persecutions which will engulf the globe in a coming day.”  What leads to such faithfulness even to death?  One thing: Faithfulness to Christ in life.

What is the Result of the Transforming Spirit?

Jesus Christ calls all of us to walk in faithfulness to Him each day….In fact, we are called to be in living crucifixion as Romans 12:1-2 and Gal. 2:20 describes. When lived out that equals:

  • SEEING JESUS: We see Christ as our high priest and we are His priests. Hebrews 8:1 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; Revelation 1:6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Who offer Him:
  • LIVING SACRIFICES: Our lives as a daily sacrifice Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.;Romans 15:16 that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
  • BURNING DEVOTION: Our devotion as continual burnt offerings Mark 12:33 “And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
  • OVERFLOWING SERVICE: Our service poured out to Him as a drink offering Philippians 2:17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 2 Timothy 4:6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.
  • DOING GOOD DEEDS: Our deeds as intentional spiritual sacrifices. Hebrews 13:16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 1 Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
  • ASCENDING PRAYERS: Our  prayers constantly ascending as an incense offering. Psalm 141:2 Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Revelation 8:3-4 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand.
  • POURING WORSHIP: Our earnest worship poured out at His feet as a praise offering. Hebrews 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

Seal # 6 CHAOS (vv. 12-13)

I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.

  • What is the lesson? Without Jesus the GOOD SHEPHERD (10:11) – He cares for us, apart from Him is only aimless wandering.
  • A great shaking; signs in the heavens, terror on earth.
  • This means earthquake, sun darkened, moon red as blood, meteors, disturbances in the atmosphere and on earth, terror on rich and poor alike.
  • The great day of the wrath of the Lamb came; this clearly identifies the Tribulation period as the wrath of God.

In Revelation 6:15-17, John describes for us the greatest prayer meeting in the history of the world:  “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every slave, and every free man (that covers everybody) hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of His wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?”

So what’s the bottom line?  There are seven years of history left for Israel to complete in God’s program. It’s a time like never before – demonic creatures ravage the earth; one-half of the population is horribly murdered; earth is a wasteland; mankind fiercely fights against God and tries one last time to destroy Christ – and in that moment, He returns.

  • God has given to us the conclusion to human history- the Bible!  Trust Him completely.  If people are the only investment that lasts…. invest heavily in disciple making.
  • God has given to us a job to do for Him while He is away- soul-winning!  Therefore, obey Him now. If you haven’t started to give out the good news, start today.
  • God has given to us a way to stay in touch with Him – time in the Word! If you haven’t started start daily contact in the word and prayer today!
  • God has given to us a means to start an investment account in heaven – sacrificial giving! Give sacrificially to support His church. God has indicated the earth is doomed so start today.

Pleasing God and making disciples must be a priority!

REMEMBER WE ARE A SPIRIT WITH A BODY

Hebrews 12:23  to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,

SEE BEYOND MERE PHYSICAL LIFE

2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,

I WILL NOT FEAR. WHY?

Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

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  • GLOBAL GRAVEYARD: One out of every four people will die (see Rev. 6:8), some through the ravages of war, others by starvation, and amazingly many others by the ‘beasts of the earth’.  So, whether by death that come instantly and thus less dreaded or a slow and painful death that is lingering and agonizing-25 percent of all people will die.  As of 7:21 PM GMT (1:21 PM CST) the world’s population was 5,983,632,173 and growing at 7 million per month, so that means at least 1,496,000,000 will die. That amounts to just about five times the current population of the United States-can you imagine that? And remember that the population of the world is doubling every 39.5 years. So every day the number of people who will die becomes larger and larger.
  • GLOBAL GRASSFIRE: One third of all vegetation will be burned up. All grass, every tree, everything green will be destroyed (see Rev. 8:7).
  • GLOBAL  NUCLEAR WINTER: The sun and the moon will be darkened as nature goes into revolt (see Rev. 8:12).
  • GLOBAL HORROR SHOW: The gates of hell will open and hordes of locusts, the size of horses, will come upon the earth. Those locusts will  be allowed to sting men like scorpions and the pain will last for five months. The Bible says men will beg God to let them die but they will not die (see Rev. 9:3-6).
  • GLOBAL STARVATION: There will be worldwide famine unlike anything the world has ever seen (see Rev. 18:8).
  • GLOBAL WARFARE:  There will be a world war so bloody that the blood of those killed in battle will flow for two hundred miles up to the bridle of a horse in the valley of Jezreel.  This will be the Battle of Armageddon (see Rev. 14:20).
  • GLOBAL NIGHTMARE: All told, during the Great Tribulation, as many as half of all the people on the earth will be killed. Now do you see why God refers to the Rapture as a ‘blessed hope”? Because the Tribulation to come is so horrible!

It has been 52 years since a storm of such deadly intensity has struck Oklahoma. On  April 9, 1947, a twister killed 113 people. But Monday’s tornadoes awesome even for a region used to twisters. Tornado Alley, a swath running from west Texas through Oklahoma and Kansas to Iowa, is ripe for stormy conditions because of colliding air masses that occur each spring. The deadly tornado was first reported about 5:50 p.m. near Chickasha, about 45 miles southwest of the capital city. At first it just skipped across the flat Oklahoma countryside, uprooting trees, downing power lines, flattening outbuildings and ruining cars. That is, until it tore into southern Oklahoma City.

Then the tornado became a dark funnel that sucked up virtually everything in its path as it achieved an F-5 status by winds exceeding 260 mph.  Monday’s storm was the product of super cells, the kings of thunderstorms, which soar 60,000 feet into the atmosphere — nearly twice as high as the zone where jet aircraft fly. Unlike normal  thunderstorms which dissipate in an hour or so, this anvil-shaped super cell persisted for hours and traveled hundreds of miles, hurling the most destructive weather in its path.

So this past Monday we experienced just a sprinkle of the flood which lies ahead. What do I mean? The killer tornadoes are mild in their deadly destruction to what we see on God’s prophetic roadmap! The question for us is, if we were hit with this or any other foretaste of the Tribulation, what can we be doing now to be sure that we will not loose everything like those we witnessed this week.

On Monday May 3rd 1999 a swirling mass of twisting, tortured supercharged air began to descend from the sky over quiet pastures blanketed in the lush green carpet of spring. Within moments an ugly brown scar was left in the wake of this monstrous tornado.

Life for hundreds and thousands of families would change forever in the next hour. The tower of destruction began its systematic rape of the land as grass, trees, fences and farm buildings.

Ahead of the storm inexorably marching like a tidal wave of death lay quiet rows of beautiful homes. Inside were grandmothers and infants, photo albums and hamster cages, brand new pickups and pop up campers. Behind the storm lay shattered homes, shattered families, shattered lives, shattered bodies. What could be worse than that? To answer that question join me in Kansas at a military outpost called Camp Funston. It is March 4th, 1918 and the flu pandemic[1] of 1918 begins. Tens of millions of deaths later, it was and remains a mystery.

It began with a relatively mild initial assault on March 4, when the first reported case occurred at Camp Funston, Kans. Within four months, the virus had traversed the globe. The flu sickened millions but killed relatively few, and in the tumult of World War I, the first wave seemed pretty mundane.

No one knew it at the time, of course, but flu viruses are notoriously unstable– “genetically labile,” as one researcher puts it. Set one flu virus beside another, and the two may trade genes, a process called re-assortment. If this re-assortment produces a virus that closely resembles one of its parents, it is said to have undergone antigenic drift. On rare occasions, this scrambling can be dramatic. The virus becomes a kind of Frankenstein virus so different from existing strains that the human population has no immunity to it.

In August 1918, the mild virus apparently re-assorted into something positively deadly. Outbreaks caused by the new variant exploded almost simultaneously in three far-flung locations: France, Sierra Leone and Boston. The flu struck with a ferocity that shocked doctors, who feared this strange new pathogen might be an airborne version of the Black Death. Patients died awash in blood and gore, literally drowning as fluid filled their lungs.

The virus rocketed to the farthest points of the globe. From September 1918 through March 1919, it killed 33,387 people in New York City, just over 1% of the city’s population. In some Alaskan villages, the death toll topped 50%; in one, Teller Mission (n ow Brevig Mission), 85% were dead within a week.

One of the great mysteries of 1918 centers on who was killed by the virus. Even ordinary flu will cause deaths among the very young, the very old and people with a weakened immune system. The 1918 virus did kill within these groups, but it seemed to have a special passion for the young and hardy, ages 25 to 34, those typically most able to weather the flu.

Rumors flew of strange influenza-like diseases affecting animals, even moose, according to the pandemic’s chronicler, Alfred W. Crosby Jr. One rumor turned out to be true–disturbingly so for anyone familiar with the subsequent history of influenza research and the recent Hong Kong outbreak. Farmers in 1918 discovered that something was making their pigs very sick, with high fevers and bad coughs. No such pig flu had ever been noticed before 1918, but every fall thereafter an influenza-like illness attack ed the nation’s hog population. In 1928 a researcher from the Rockefeller Institute, Richard E. Shope, went to Iowa to investigate the phenomenon, and in 1930 he became the first scientist to isolate an influenza virus. Copies of it are stored today in laboratories around the world.

But somewhere beyond the starry sky there stands a herald angel with a trumpet in his hand, and by the decree of the Lord God Almighty, there is a day, there is an hour, there is a moment, there is an elected time when the angel shall sound and the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ.” [2]

The Beginning of the Tribulation (Matt. 24:4-14)

The events described in this section are “the beginning of birth-pangs” (Matt. 24:8). The image of a woman in travail is a picture of the Tribulation period (Isa. 13:6–11; 1 Thes. 5:5). Let’s consider some of the significant events that will occur at the beginning of this period.

  • GLOBAL FALSE TEACHING  (vv. 4–5). The Jews have often been led astray by false prophets and false christs. The rider on the white horse in Revelation 6:1–2 is the Antichrist, that final world dictator who will lead the nations astray. He will begin his career as a peacemaker, signing a covenant with Israel to protect her from her enemies (Dan. 9:27). Israel will welcome this man as their great benefactor (John 5:43).
  • GLOBAL WARFARE  (v. 6). Note that wars are not a sign of the end. There have always been wars in the world, and will be until the very end. Wars of themselves do not announce the end of the age or the coming of the Lord.
  • GLOBAL FAMINES (v. 7a). War and famine usually go together. Revelation 6:6 suggests terribly high prices for staple foods, for a “penny” was a day’s wages.
  • GLOBAL EPIDEMICS (vv. 7b-8). Earthquakes help to create famines, and both help to cause epidemics that take many lives.
  • GLOBAL PERSECUTIONS (v. 9). Christians have always been hated by the world, but here we have an acceleration of persecutions and murders. All nations will be involved. This certainly was not true in the history of the early church.
  • GLOBAL CHAOS (vv. 10–13). Those who once were true to each other will betray each other. This suggests that marriages, homes, and nations will be torn asunder because of lack of loyalty. Lawlessness will abound (Matt. 24:12), for even the law enforcement agencies will not be able to keep the peace. (Matthew 24:13 has nothing to do with personal salvation in this present age of grace. “The end” does not mean the end of this life; it refers to the end of the age
  • GLOBAL EVANGELISM (v. 14). Revelation 7:1–8 teaches that God will choose and seal 144,000 Jewish evangelists who will carry the kingdom message to the ends of the earth. This verse does not teach that the Gospel of God’s grace must be spread to every nation today before Jesus can return for His church. It is the Lord’s return at the end of the age that is in view here. Matt. 24:14). Those believers on earth during this terrible period, who endure in their faith, will be saved when the Lord comes at the end and delivers them.

Now As we look at Revelation 6 we are looking at the Tribulation, the first step in Christ’s taking back the earth, which is rightfully His. One by one Christ unrolls the seals. As each seal is broken, He takes further possession and control of His inheritance. Finally, “the seventh angel sounded; and there arose loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever’” (11:15). When He unrolls the seventh seal and the seventh trumpet blows, the earth is His.[3]

God Has a Week of Prophetic History Left for the Jews

THE EVENTS OF THE 70TH WEEK – Israel has seven years left to fulfill this prophecy, and it just so happens that the Tribulation is seven years.  Verse 27 gives us some of the details of this 70th week:  “And he (Antichrist) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (here’s the last week); and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate (CF.  Matt. 24:15), even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”  Beloved, the 70th week of Daniel is the Tribulation.  And the gap between the 69th and 70th is an undefined period of time.  Now, according to verse 27, at the beginning of the Tribulation the Antichrist is going to make a covenant with Israel, and give them back their temple and their worship.  But after three and one-half years, he will suddenly violate the covenant and violently persecute Israel.

JESUS’ DESCRIPTION of the Tribulation in  (Matt. 24:3-34) exactly parallels the seals of Rev. 6!

Seal #1 FALSE PEACE (vv. 1-2)

Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.”2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

  • What is the lesson? Without Jesus the WAY, TRUTH & LIFE (14:6) – He guides us, apart from Him is only endless lostness.
  • This is a picture of the release of Antichrist into the world scene; a white horse; its rider has a bow and crown, and he goes forth to conquer.

Seal #2 WAR (vv. 3-4)

When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.

  • What is the lesson? Without Jesus the DOOR OF SHEEP (10:7,9) – He admits us to life, apart from Him is only hopeless exclusion.
  • A red horse; a great sword given to the rider; peace taken from the earth (vs. 3-4) speaks of the unmasking of Antichrist who brings a false, superficial peace.  But at this point, peace is removed from the earth and the time of killing begins (cf. Ezk. 38:21)
  • One estimate counts 143 separate wars and more than 12 million dead since 1945.

WAR ITSELF HAS INTENSIFIED[4]: Moreover, the lethality of modern conventional weapons is virtually incomprehensible.  In World War II, the standard infantry rifle, the M-1, fired an eight-round clip.

  • Today’s M-16 fires a 30-round magazine of far more devastating projectiles.
  • The A-10 attack aircraft, a jet used to support ground troops, carries a heavier bomb payload than the largest World War II strategic bomber, the B-29.
  • An AC- 130 gunship, a transport aircraft configured for fire support, carries four 20mm Vulcan cannons with six barrels each, four multibarreled 7.62mm miniguns, a 40mm Bofors cannon and a  105mm automatic howitzer.  In other words, one plane delivers the firepower of a World War I infantry battalion.
  • Tanks and artillery shoot twice as far, several times more rapidly and much more accurately than in 1945.  Or, as Professor Richard A. Gabriel of St. Anselm’s College notes in his newly published book, “No More Heroes”:  “A Soviet motorized rifle division can deliver ten times the firepower at three times the rate of a similar World War II division.  The same is true of NATO divisions.”  His conclusion:  High-intensity conventional warfare, like nuclear war, may now be too terrible to fight.

Seal #3 FAMINE (vv. 5-6)

When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.”

  • What is the lesson? Without Jesus the BREAD OF LIFE (6:35) – He sustains us, apart from Him is only unsatisfied hunger.
  • A denarius was one day’s wage (or fifteen cents).  A slave would work a whole day and earn fifteen cents.  Here we see that one meal of wheat or three meals of barley will cost an entire day’s wages.  Now that’s famine!  All a man’s money will go to buy food.  A terrible famine is going to hit the earth.

STARVATION[5] – (By Anastasia Toufexis) Close to the Zocalo, Mexico City’s great central square, lies the barrio of Morelos, a vast warren of dusty, potholed streets and narrow entryways.  The passages lead to a gloomy world.  On each side of a roofless patio is a ten-room jumble.  Each room holds a family; each family averages five people.  The only bathrooms-two to serve 100 people-are located at the back of the patio.  The odor of grease and sewage permeates the air.  Flies buzz relentlessly.  The people who live here are considered lucky.

In the shantytowns on Mexico City’s outskirts, tens of thousands of people shelter in huts made of cardboard with aluminum roofs.  There is no running water and no sanitation.  The stench is overpowering:  garbage and human waste heap up in piles.  Rats roam freely, like stray domestic animals.

To the more privileged, those scenes look like a science-fiction vision of civilization’s breakdown, perhaps after a nuclear war.  In fact, Mexico City has been described as the anteroom to an ecological Hiroshima.  With 20 million residents-up from 9 million only 20 years ago-the Mexican capital is considered the most populous urban center on earth.  Mexico capital has been struck not by military weapons but by a population bomb.

Seal #4 DEATH   (vv.7-8)

When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.”8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.

With the breaking of this seal, one-fourth of the population of the world is going to die. As a green (greek chloros as in chlorine) horse:  death, and hades follows. Death receives the bodies and hides the souls of unbelievers. Death may refer to pestilence (Scott, Ironside, Gaebelein). beasties of leuwenhook microscope Think for a moment of the vast legions of deadly agents surrounding you this morning:

  • TB: once thought conquered has reemerged in highly resistant strains that have even known to piggyback with HIV to be contagious in an airborne infection.
  • Staph: causing a fifth of the hospital systems two million infections a year has just shown up as staphylococcus aureus which is resistant to vancomycin, the final gun in the antibiotic arsenal. At present 60 to 80,000 die of staph annually but if aureus comes out it is so deadly the numbers will skyrocket.
  • Ebola: with a mortality rate of 90% + in less than a week, Ebola is horrible. Connective tissues of the body liquefies and every orifice of the body  bleeds as the infected individual convulses and splashes deadly contaminated blood in every direction. There is no known cure, no treatment, in fact no awareness of how it is transmitted. Chilling to say the least if it started in a populated area.
  • biological warfare: anthrax is a cheaply produced poor man’s atom bomb. Once infected the area is persistently a problem for decades. If Berlin had been hit with anthrax in WWII it would still be uninhabitable today!
  • Yursinia pestis: or to us non-doctor types bubonic plague is (rod-shaped, non-motile, non-sporulating, gram-negative, aerobic bacterium) in other words it killed tens of millions of Europeans in the Middle Ages and it is being cultivated in terrorist counties laboratories this morning! Black Death as it was called in the 1400’s goes from rats to fleas to humans to hemorrhages, to suffocation and/or general toxemia.
  • Botulinum toxin: this is the most powerful poison known to man. Nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, repiratory paralysis and death . . . all from a cultured bacteria called clostridium botulinum anyone can grow in their home lab with $10,000 worth of equipment in a room 15 feet square. In 1986 Ma Anan Sheela confessed to growing and spreading trillions salmonella bacteria in four restaurant salad bars of Oregon as a biological terrorist. 750 people became seriously ill in that one town!

NY TIMES April 5, 1999 DEFECTOR TELLS OF SOVIET AND CHINESE GERM WEAPONS

By WILLIAM J. BROAD and JUDITH MILLER

The most senior defector from the Soviet germ-warfare program says in a new book that Soviet officials concluded that China had suffered a serious accident at one of its secret plants for developing biological weapons, causing two major epidemics.

The book also reports that Soviet researchers tried to turn HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, into a weapon and that even as the last Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev, pursued peace openings with the West, he ordered a vast expansion of the deadly effort to turn germs and viruses into weapons of mass destruction.

The defector, Kanatjan Alibekov, now known as Ken Alibek, says in the book that as deputy director of a top branch of the Soviet program, he knew of the disaster in China because he saw secret Soviet intelligence reports twice a month.

Spy satellites peering down at China found what seemed to be a large biological-weapons laboratory and plant near a remote site for testing nuclear warheads, he wrote. Intelligence agents then found evidence that two epidemics of hemorrhagic fever swept the region in the late 1980s. The area had never previously known such diseases, which cause profuse bleeding and death.

“Our analysts,” Alibek said, “concluded that they were caused by an accident in a lab where Chinese scientists were weaponizing viral diseases.” Viral scourges that cause intense bleeding include Marburg fever and the dreaded Ebola virus. Both are endemic to Africa.

— Moscow mastered the art of rearranging genes to make harmful microbes even more potent and harder to counteract. Anthrax, a top biological warfare agent that causes high fever and death, was genetically altered, he says, to resist five kinds of antibiotics.

— The top-secret program obtained a sample of HIV, the AIDS virus, from the United States in 1985 and tried unsuccessfully to turn the slow killer into a weapon.

— A senior military official told him that the Soviet Union had waged germ warfare in Afghanistan from planes, spraying armed rebels with glanders in an unsuccessful bid to subdue them. Glanders is a chronic bacterial disease of horses that can be highly lethal in humans.

— Under a top-secret project known as Bonfire, Soviet scientists in 1989 discovered “a new class of weapons” — now called bioregulators — that could “damage the nervous system, alter moods, trigger psychological changes and even kill.” The KGB secret police agency was particularly interested in them because they “could not be traced by pathologists.” A Soviet program called Flute worked on germs and other agents that could be used mainly for political assassinations.

— While directing about half of the Soviet biological-warfare work force, he says, he discovered that an abandoned factory in Kazakhstan where he and his childhood friends had played after school had once made noxious germs meant to kill enemy crops and livestock.

In his book, Alibek, a Kazakh by birth, says the Soviet state devoted a considerable part of its treasury to readying deadly germs for war. At its peak in the late 1980s, he writes, the program had 60,000 employees working at scores of sites throughout the Soviet Union.

“The Americans had just two specialists in anthrax,” he wrote of his observations during his first tour of U.S. sites as part of a Soviet-American inspection agreement in 1991. “We had two thousand.”

About a dozen of the 40 institutes that were part of Biopreparat, the civilian cover group that Alibek helped run, were used “exclusively” for offensive agents and weapons for the military, he wrote.

1917-’19:
The Spanish flu, the most lethal influenza pandemic ever, kills half a million people. More people die as a result of this flu than die during World War I. Its spread is facilitated by troop movements in the closing months of the war. Mortality rates are unusually high for flu, especially among young, otherwise healthy adults.
1957-’58:
The Asian flu starts in southwest China in February 1957, possibly having originated in 1956 in Vladivostok, Russia, then spreads throughout the Pacific. Globally it affects 10 percent to 35 percent of the population, but overall mortality is much lower than in the 1918 epidemic, about 0.25 percent.
1968-’69:
Hong Kong flu claims 700,000 lives worldwide, 34,000 in the United States.
1976:
The Swine flu, isolated in New Jersey in a young army recruit, instills fear of a new pandemic and leads to a massive influenza-immunization program. The vaccinations lead to Guillain-Barre syndrome, an ascending paralysis, in 100,000 people and kills 5 percent of those afflicted.

Up until 40 years ago there was no way anyone could kill one-fourth of the world. Today “beasts of the earth” are multiplying by the trillions in laboratories boiling in the cauldron of hatred in the Middle East and before long, they will spill out into the deadliest hour of the planet. So deadly are these beasts that Jesus said in Mark 13:20 “And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days.”

  • What is the lesson? Without Jesus the RESURRECTION AND LIFE (11:25) – He provides us life, apart from Him is only endless dying.

 Seal #5 MARTYRS  (vv.9-11)

When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

  • What is the lesson? Without Jesus the LIGHT OF WORLD (8:12) – He illumines us, apart from Him is only impenetrable darkness.
  • When the fifth seal is broken, martyrs who died because of their faith during the Tribulation are seen under the altar in heaven, praying for Christ to take back the earth and avenge their blood.
  • These are the souls of those who are slain during the Tribulation period on account of their testimony to the Word of God.
  • The terrible martyrdom of Rev. 6 are much clearer to us who have lived through or pondered the horrors of World War II.

The atrocities of Nazi war criminals’ discrimination  —  ghettos concentration camps  —  mass extermination;  In 10 years, 60% of Jews in Europe, 6 million, were butchered. G. M. Gilbert wrote in his history of the criminal trials of those criminals called the Nuremburg Diary:  “…the torture, the starvation, the mass murder, the diabolical experiments on live human guinea pigs.  ‘History,’ he said, ‘does not record a crime perpetuated against so many victims or ever carried out with such calculated cruelty.’ ‘Mass murder,’ he said, ‘was becoming a State industry, with byproducts.’  That is only one page from the sordid story of modern persecution.  There are many pages more.  The world is getting ready for the breaking of this seal.

What is shown here, under the breaking of the fifth seal, is elaborated further in chapter seven, where the great tribulation is introduced.  Here only a preview is given of the terrible persecutions which will engulf the globe in a coming day.”  What leads to such faithfulness even to death?  One thing: Faithfulness to Christ in life.

What is the Result of the Transforming Spirit?

Jesus Christ calls all of us to walk in faithfulness to Him each day….In fact, we are called to be in living crucifixion as Romans 12:1-2 and Gal. 2:20 describes. When lived out that equals:

  • SEEING JESUS: We see Christ as our high priest and we are His priests. Hebrews 8:1 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; Revelation 1:6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Who offer Him:
  • LIVING SACRIFICES: Our lives as a daily sacrifice Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.;Romans 15:16 that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
  • BURNING DEVOTION: Our devotion as continual burnt offerings Mark 12:33 “And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
  • OVERFLOWING SERVICE: Our service poured out to Him as a drink offering Philippians 2:17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 2 Timothy 4:6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.
  • DOING GOOD DEEDS: Our deeds as intentional spiritual sacrifices. Hebrews 13:16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 1 Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
  • ASCENDING PRAYERS: Our  prayers constantly ascending as an incense offering. Psalm 141:2 Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Revelation 8:3-4 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand.
  • POURING WORSHIP: Our earnest worship poured out at His feet as a praise offering. Hebrews 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

Seal # 6 CHAOS (vv. 12-13)

I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.

  • What is the lesson? Without Jesus the GOOD SHEPHERD (10:11) – He cares for us, apart from Him is only aimless wandering.
  • A great shaking; signs in the heavens, terror on earth.
  • This means earthquake, sun darkened, moon red as blood, meteors, disturbances in the atmosphere and on earth, terror on rich and poor alike.
  • The great day of the wrath of the Lamb came; this clearly identifies the Tribulation period as the wrath of God.

In Revelation 6:15-17, John describes for us the greatest prayer meeting in the history of the world:  “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every slave, and every free man (that covers everybody) hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of His wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?”

So what’s the bottom line?  There are seven years of history left for Israel to complete in God’s program. It’s a time like never before – demonic creatures ravage the earth; one-half of the population is horribly murdered; earth is a wasteland; mankind fiercely fights against God and tries one last time to destroy Christ – and in that moment, He returns.

  • God has given to us the conclusion to human history- the Bible!  Trust Him completely.  If people are the only investment that lasts…. invest heavily in disciple making.
  • God has given to us a job to do for Him while He is away- soul-winning!  Therefore, obey Him now. If you haven’t started to give out the good news, start today.
  • God has given to us a way to stay in touch with Him – time in the Word! If you haven’t started start daily contact in the word and prayer today!
  • God has given to us a means to start an investment account in heaven – sacrificial giving! Give sacrificially to support His church. God has indicated the earth is doomed so start today.

Pleasing God and making disciples must be a priority!

REMEMBER WE ARE A SPIRIT WITH A BODY

Hebrews 12:23  to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,

SEE BEYOND MERE PHYSICAL LIFE

2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,

I WILL NOT FEAR. WHY?

Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

 
 
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